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The First Archivist 

The First Government Archivist

These recommendations were implemented almost immediately with the appointment of Mr. Enos Sewlal as Government Archivist in 1960.The Archives came under the Office of the Prime Minister and was located in the basement of the Prime Minister’s Office at White Hall. There was an absence of support staff and appropriate accommodation. The Archives was moved from this location to accommodate another Government Department. During the years 1964 to 1970 the Archives changed location several times. In 1970 permission was granted to occupy a building on the present site on a temporary basis. This building was to become our main repository at 105 St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain. The National Archives also experienced many administrative changes over the years. From its beginnings at the Office of the Prime Minister, the National Archives was placed under the Ministry of Education in 1982. In 1992 the Archives was placed under the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs. In subsequent years it was placed under the Ministry of Culture and Gender Affairs; Communications and Information Technology; Human Development, Youth and Culture; Public administration and Information; Arts and Multiculturalism, National Diversity and Social Integration. At present the National Archives is a Division of the Ministry of Public Administration and Communication. The National Archives is managed by a Government Archivist. Over the years this position has been held by the following persons:-

  • Enos Sewlal 1960-1979
  • Edwina Peters 1985-1999
  • Helena Leonce 2000-2010
  • Avril Belfon 2010 - present

In the early years, 1960-1969, the newly appointed Government Archivist functioned as a one-man unit. In 1970 the staff was increased to twenty (20) persons. This amount remained unchanged until 1985 when the new position of Manager Records Centre was created. At that time, the Repository consisted of a small Search Room with very limited accommodation, a Conservation Laboratory, a Microfilm Unit and a small Administration area. The Archives now has a staff of roughly 50 persons.


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